FCC feasibility study comes into focus

CERN’s fastest-growing collaboration is crystallising an ambitious proposal to tackle the big questions at the heart of particle physics


Future Circular Collider - Image selection
Radio-frequency cavities, as pictured here with CERN’s Sarah Aull, are a key technology for FCC research and development (Image: CERN)

To address the many outstanding questions in fundamental physics, including those brought into sharper focus by the discovery of the Higgs boson, there is no scientific instrument yet conceived with power comparable to a particle collider. Reflecting this, the 2020 update to the European Strategy for Particle Physics set an electron-positron collider as the highest-priority facility after the LHC, along with the investigation of the technical and financial feasibility of a future energy-frontier proton-proton collider in a new 100 km tunnel as a potential second step.

To move forward one leading proposal to realise this strategy, this year’s Future Circular Collider (FCC) Week took place online from 28 June to 2 July, attracting 700 participants from all over the world to debate how best to operate an electron-positron collider and then a proton-proton collider in a new 100 km circumference tunnel in the Geneva region. The meeting tackled ongoing work on a feasibility study being prepared in time for the next strategy update in 2027.

For details on what was discussed at FCC Week 2021, check out Panos Charitos’ report in CERN Courier magazine, which discusses the collaboration’s progress with placement studies, accelerator physics R&D and minimising the project’s potential ecological impact.